How Can I Prove I am Being Discriminated Against at Work?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from being discriminated against, both when seeking employment and when working. The problem with discrimination at work is that it’s not always easy to prove.
What is Workplace Discrimination?
Employment discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently or unfairly based on one of the protected categories of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits employers from treating employees differently based on things like:
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
Additionally, state laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who report unfair discrimination or treatment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing these laws. You can file a report to the EEOC if you’re being unfairly treated in the workplace based on one of these protected categories. However, the EEOC will ask that you prove the discrimination.
Ways to Prove Discrimination in the Workplace
Evidence of discrimination in the workplace typically falls into two categories: direct or circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence includes evidence that directly links the discrimination to a specific person. This may include discriminatory statements from management or supervisors.
Circumstantial evidence is indirect and leads to a presumption of discrimination. This type of evidence doesn’t come from direct observation but from an assumption.
Most laws require that employees first submit a prima facie case. This requires that the employee is in a protected category, has the necessary experience or qualifications for the position, has received unfair treatment, and has been replaced by someone not in the protected class. This is also known as the McDonnell Douglas framework.
It can be difficult to prove discrimination in the workplace. However, certain pieces of evidence can help you build your case, including employee records, witness statements, email notifications, pay stubs, or hiring policies. If you were wrongly treated at work due to protected categories, like age or race, it may be worth it to talk with an employment lawyer.
What To Expect From a Discrimination Case
If the court rules that you were unfairly treated based on one of the protected categories, you may be awarded compensation. The court may require your employer to give you back pay for your lost wages. They may also require front pay, which covers your wages going forward after the case.
Additional forms of compensation that may be available through an employment discrimination case include lost benefits, punitive damages, and legal fees. Some courts may also award emotional distress damages. These are additional costs that cover the stress you have incurred as a result of the discrimination.
If we’re able to prove that your employer not only discriminated against you in the workplace but also retaliated against you for reporting it, you may even receive additional compensation.
No employee should ever be discriminated against for age, gender, race, color, or other protected category. When discrimination occurs in the workplace, it affects your financial well-being. Reporting discrimination not only makes you eligible for compensation but also helps to improve the workplace to protect others from being discriminated against.
Contact a Moorestown Employment Discrimination Lawyer to Discuss Your New Jersey Case
Unfair discrimination can be devastating, particularly if it prevents you from returning to work for an extended period of time. Although New Jersey discrimination laws are supposed to protect you from discrimination, it still occurs. That is why you should speak with a knowledgeable employment lawyer about your situation and get guidance throughout the claims process. The experienced employment law attorneys at Attorneys Hartman, Chartered represent clients in Mt. Laurel, Medford, Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Marlton, and all across New Jersey. Call 856-393-6073 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a consultation about your workplace discrimination case. Our main office is located at 68 East Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.